There are, of course, various arguments for and against the doctrineof temporal parts. (For a summary, see the entry on .) Here, we focus on the relevance of the doctrine to thepuzzles of material constitution and, in particular, to the challengesfacing the constitution view.
The simplest way of avoiding the puzzles of material constitution isto deny the existence of some of the objects that give rise to thoseproblems. For example, if one claims that there are no such things asstatues and lumps of clay, then there is no threat of having a statueand a lump of clay in the same place at the same time. In thissection, we briefly introduce three versions of this eliminativistview.
Let m = Dion, t = a pre-operation time,r1 = the region occupied by Dion at t, andr2 = the region corresponding to all of Dion exceptfor his right foot at t. If DAUP were correct, Theon would exist, for itwould just be the proper part of Dion that occupiesr2 at t. Van Inwagen denies the existenceof Theon, so he denies DAUP as well. (For more on DAUP and its role inpuzzles of material constitution, see van Inwagen 1981, Olson 1996, andParsons 2004.)
Interestingly, a lot of the contributers appeal to or use mereological axioms only to undermine any mereological understanding of the constitution of objects. And some use mereology to try and bolster their point that objects can only be understood in de dicto terms. This runs counter-intuitively to the ontological "neutrality" of mereology for objects, ideal or material. In fact, I would say that this book is about the semantics of objects and not about any "material constitution" of objects, unless it is about the fallacy of de re understanding of objects, that is, this book should be named the 'De Dicto Constitution of Identity'.